Springbok Cinema 2016: The Best Of South Africa

Contributing Writer; South Africa
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South African film continues to impress, and each year seems to reveal a wealth of new talent - both in front of and behind the camera - though in truth much of the talent has been around for years, just without much limelight. There is no question, however, that the growth of international film projects shooting in South Africa has given the local industry a boost, both in business and experience, and it feels like there is an ever more invigorating slate of films to seek out. 

Herewith then are my favourite South African films for 2016. As usual, there are many local films that I missed, and I don't necessarily select films based on critical worth alone. Some are genuine works of exceptional beauty, but some were just fun, or a worthy effort imperfectly executed. All, however, I consider admirable ambassadors for the country's film scene. In fact, in a year where the actual Springboks proved to be such dismal stewards of the symbol on the international rugby scene, this collection of Springbok Cinema has contributed more prestige to the symbolic Springbok than its namesake, the national rugby team.

Noem My Skollie (Call Me Thief)
Director: Daryne Joshua

My favourite South African film of the year, as much for the filmmaking as for the story of the making of the film, which is based on the actual experiences of its writer John Fredericks, who survived in South Africa’s most notorious prison by telling stories to the inmates. Check out my full review here.

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2016 favoritesDie AntwoordKalushiLast Ones OutModder en BloedMore Than Just A GameNoem My Skolliesouth africaSpringbok CinemaTessTimelinesWonderboy For President

More about Springbok Cinema

cjohnstonJanuary 6, 2017 5:08 PM

Thank You..... .!!!
Tess, in particular - Looks REAL Good/Impressive.
..similar to say, American Honey.?; (maybe more of a stretch for) How I Live Now and/or These Final Hours ...?
(just saw A.H. a few short days ago and LOVED it. ..Can't decide if i'll "copy" and 'paste' it into this years favorites; .........and or save it for what's gearing up to be four or five films, shoe-horned as it were into the "Bermuda Triangle" of time between 2015 and 2016...)

StuJanuary 6, 2017 6:46 PM

I've not yet seen American Honey myself, though it's on the list. The other two you mentioned are entirely new to me.

cjohnstonJanuary 6, 2017 8:39 PM

Here are some specs. on These Final Hours; as well as How I Live Now - for your Consideration and Perusal..
These Final Hours - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt22...
How I Live Now - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt18...
~ ~ ~
While opinions certainly differ; I Heartily recommend each..

StuJanuary 7, 2017 5:03 PM


cjohnstonJanuary 9, 2017 11:20 PM

...No Hurries about this to be sure..
.Here are a few more titles that (at your convenience and Whenever a time might present itself) You might enjoy..
While perhaps the similarities and parallels are not as strongly apparent and/or outlined.. .....
..As appears to be the case with Tess and the couple features aforementioned - I'd also be inclined to categorize these, as "Finding Oneself cinema"... (absolutely and solely self created and fictionalized term ..)
.Captain Fantastic (this year)
.I Smile Back
.The Tribe
.The Congress
.The Master
.The Congress
.Too Late (this year)
.Synecdoche, New York
.Nocturnal Animals
.Twice Born
.Blood Father (this year)
.Burning Man
.Broken Circle Breakdown
.White Bird In A Blizzard
.A Thousand Times Good Night
.Womb (weirdy, but Goodie..)
.Teddy Bear
.The Danish Girl
.Swiss Army Man (this year)
.A Hologram For the King (this year)
.Ma-Ma (Gorgeous Introspective piece from this year)
.Love At First Fight
.The Survivalist (this year - ish..)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Apologies - I Hope this doesn't crash your inbox.. .(n)or give you a headache for the ages...
Obviously.. this is a MASSIVE Behemoth list here.. :/